The Colorado Rockies 2024 season, well Spring Training at least, is right around the corner.

So now is the time to take some stock of where the team is and how the fanbase is feeling. That’s why we reached out to you on Twitter (make sure you are following @DrewCreasman) for your questions as we approach the day that pitchers and catchers report.


Do you see any late signings going into/during Spring Training?


I wouldn’t be surprised to see them add something just before or during the first half of Spring Training. Similar to how they added Mike Moustakas and Jurrickson Profar last season, the Rockies are likely to add a cheaper veteran or two to help fill out the roster.

The club has said they’d be interested in adding a veteran, left-handed bench bat which isn’t likely to be a big name or get too many people excited but could be something they flip at the deadline as they did with Moustakas. Also wouldn’t be shocked to see another bullpen arm or two. 

Overall, though, I do think the roster is mostly set as the team looks to coalesce more around the young core of position players with a few more set to arrive this season while the pitching is stuck in purgatory. 

More on the pitching in a bit but our next question gets into that position player core.


Which rookies break Spring Training with the Rockies?


After last season saw Ezequiel Tovar emerge as one of the most consistent rookies in the NL at an incredibly young age, Brenton Doyle become the best defensive centerfielder in baseball, and Nolan Jones getting snubbed in Rookie of the Year voting, the Rockies have more youngsters to add to the mix. But maybe not right away.

The prospects with the pedigree to put themselves in the “incredibly exciting” category include Adeal Amador, Zac Veen, Yanquiel Fernandez, Drew Romo and newcomers to the MLB Pipeline Top 100 like Jordan Beck and pitcher Chase Dollander. They are all probably just a little bit too far away to expect to break camp with the big league club.

Amador is still very young and this will be in his first Spring Training which should be intriguing to watch in the early days. But Veen, Fernandez, and Romo figure to get quite a bit of run in February and March and I expect (health permitting) for each of them to make their MLB debuts at some point in 2024.

Don’t sleep on Hunter Goodman who debuted last year but retains rookie eligibility and was a home run and RBI machine in 2023. A strong spring for him could dramatically increase his role out of the gates. 

Elehuris Montero has long passed his rookie marks but still feels like one with the inconsistent playing time the Rockies have given him over the last few years. He, too, could be a young, breakout player candidate. 


How is the starting rotation healing up? Will we have them all to start the season?


Let’s start with the bad news.

According to recent comments from GM Bill Schmidt, we shouldn’t expect to see German Marquez until after the All-Star Break and may not see Antonio Senzatela at all in 2024.

It’s likely that high-end prospects Gabriel Hughes and Jordy Vargas will also miss most if not all of the season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The good news is that Kyle Freeland is expected to be healthy and the Rockies should generally have more depth than they did a year ago when guys like Jose Urena and Dinelson Limet had to start games.

Austin Gomber is coming off a quietly decent season where he settled in well in the second half, finishing with a 92 ERA+. The addition of Cal Quantrill gives them a veteran innings eater and the final two spots are likely to be a Spring Training competition between newcomer veteran Dakota Hudson and players still looking to find their way in MLB in Peter Lambert, Ryan Feltner, and Noah Davis. 


What do you see Chuck’s role being this year? Mostly starting DH? A veteran mind & bat off the bench? Hybrid DH/OF/bench?


Charlie Blackmon’s days of starting everyday in the outfield are (sadly) behind him. On good rest and in a pinch he can still make some appearances out in right field but the Rockies have enough emerging outfielders that Chuck needs to make way and let his bat do the talking.

As you noted, the value of his experience and wisdom cannot be understated but it shouldn’t be overlooked that Blackmon put up an OPS+ of 107 (seven percent above league average) while playing mostly through injury last year. 

I do expect him to start as the primary DH, maybe sitting occasionally against tough lefties, especially if Montero is forcing his way into the lineup more and more.

If age and/or injury keep catching up with him, he will likely then become a bench guy.


Love to hear your overall thoughts for the offseason pitching adds (Hudson, Quantrill, Molina, Beeks, Curtiss, etc.). More arms the better? Anyone else you’d like the Rox to target w/Marquez and Senzatela likely out for most/all of ’24? Thanks!  


To echo you immediately, yes, the more arms the better. As I recently wrote, when it comes to pitching, the Rockies are beggars who can’t be choosers and yes I think they should add a few more.

Of the additions you mentioned, Quantrill and Beeks stand out as having the most potential positive impact on the roster.

With Beeks, you can never have too many lefties in the ‘pen. He had a phenomenal 2022 campaign with the Tampa Bay Rays, tossing 61 innings with a 131 ERA+, 70 strikeouts, and only 22 walks. He struggles last season which is why the Rockies were able to pick him up on the cheap but there is plenty to like for a potential bounceback on his resume.

Quantrill brings a similar situation to town, coming off a down year mostly due to injury. He has an intriguing profile for Coors Field, typically finding success via creating weak contact and avoiding walks.

Debates have rages for years about whether or not such a pitcher can do their thing at altitude but if his numbers from 2020-2022 can translate (368 IP, 131 ERA+) then he might well end up being a sneakily excellent pickup for this team.


What does Nolan Jones need to do to reach the next level?


It might sound strange to say coming off of a season where he posted more WAR per game that Rookie of the Year Corbin Caroll but there are actually a few clear ways in which Nolan Jones can take another step forward into superstardom.

The one I fully expect to see is him taking massive strides (get it?) in the outfield. He didn’t transition there full time until midway through last year and while his insane athleticism allowed him to excel at times, putting up more DRS in left field than anyone else, he also struggled at other times with late jumps and bad routes. Both should improve given more time and experience.

At the plate it’s a bit trickier. It’s easy for us to say that he simply needs to make a bit more contact, strike out a little less, and maybe draw a few more walks. That goes for just about every slugger in baseball. Still, for Jones, it’s fairly stark in contrast. He rated near the top of the league in just about every offensive metric except for whiff rate and strikeouts.

A middle-of-the-road outlook on Jones would see him take a step back on offense but a step forward on defense, likely averaging out to roughly the same WAR (4.4) output.

But if he can make more contact, he will start to be talked about as one of the best players in the game. 


Will Kris Bryant become an all-star first baseman?


Probably not. However I will say I don’t think it’s that far-fetched and this is a truly strange and unique situation. 

Of course, the biggest issue with Bryant is health. The problem is that we simply don’t know what a healthy version of the former MVP looks like at Coors Field or if we will ever see anything close to it. 

It’s tempting, especially for the most cynical among us, to point to the last few years and write Bryant off as an injury-prone player who will never again reach star-level production. On the other hand, he just turned 32 this January and it’s hard to find a much more sparkling resume for a hitter before landing in Denver.

Could a move to first base and some good health luck take the strain off of him and allow Bryant to finally become the hitter the Rockies thought they were signing? Absolutely. Could it go the other way and he’s either hurt again or it turns out that all the injuries have taken their toll and his power is truly gone? Yep.

He is a decent microcosm of where the Rockies currently stand. There is probably quite a bit more potential for improvement than most people want to admit given the extremely negative recent results, but nobody is going to believe it until they see it.